I just realized I had NO pictures of Tim as well as Noah in my last update, so I thought I'd start out this update with a picture of both of them. On Tim's birthday, he wanted to go to the YMCA as a family and play a new sport he and Nathan have been getting into called pickleball! It's kind of like tennis and ping pong played with a wiffle ball on a basketball court (makes sense to me!) - it really is a lot of fun and a good workout! Check out Tim in action:
That night we went to the Rays game for his birthday and watched them win against the Orioles! A great time was to be had by all! :-)
The week after Tim's birthday my good friend, Dawn, was given a night to stay at a house on the Weekie Wachee river, so we had a girls' weekend (Friday and Saturday) with our daughters. We had access to 2 kayaks and 2 floats, so we tried tying the floats to the back of the kayaks and letting the girls get in the kayaks and try to go up the river with us in the floats. Oh my gosh - I SO wish I could have had a video of it. I haven't laughed that hard in AGES! To make a long story short, we were all paddling our hearts out and literally going nowhere because the current of the river was so strong, but then it took us like another 30 minutes just to make it back to the dock and get out! All the while, people were paddling by us left and right looking at us like we were complete idiots (I felt like saying, "Thanks for the help there, Florence Nightengale"!) Actually, I don't know that I would helped us either - we looked pretty pathetic! :-) Sorry we have no pictures of that, but we do have a couple of pictures we took on the dock later that day:
The next day was Father's Day, and Tim has been saying he wants us to get chartreuse shirts and get pictures made in them. Well, we were able to get some chartreuse shirts for him, and we did a quick demo shot with them on. We also gave him his favorite candy, twizzlers, with origami flowers (that Nicholas taught each of us to make) perched on top of each strand of twizzler and put into a vase to look like a bouquet. It wasn't even anything we saw in a magazine or anything - the idea just kind of evolved as we talked about giving him the twizzlers, and I have to say, it turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself! :-)
That brings us pretty much up to date! One more thing I should mention is this cool thing that has happened over the past couple of months regarding marriage ministry for us. We taught marriage classes for years using materials from Intimate Life Ministries that we just loved. We had always wanted to partner with them in some way, but when our church went in a different direction and started using other material for the marriage classes we just put that desire on the back burner. A couple of months ago we found out about Intimate Life holding a pastor's conference in Clearwater beach, and to make a long story short, we were invited to participate in that and subsequent follow up sessions with the pastors and church leaders who attended the conference (I was just on a skype session with several of them tonight). This weekend we are helping out with another training session with these couples, and we are just so excited to see so many doors opening up in this arena! So please be praying that we would be wise to step through the doors we should and close those we shouldn't, but right now, it all seems like a wide open door that we're excited to be going through! Thanks for joining us on our journey and any prayers on our behalf are most appreciated! Blessi
Almost 3 years after selling our house, we are taking the plunge back into home ownership (reference exhibit A to the left here). I have to say, it feels very weird. I have truly enjoyed the freedom of being completely debt free over the past 3 years, not to mention the time saved from not having to fix things and maintain a lawn, etc! But we have a contract on a house, and we still got an awesome interest rate despite everything going up lately. Our closing date is set at 7/25/13, so hopefully that should give us plenty of time to get packed and ready to go! But enough about the future, let's talk about the recent past!
So, let's see how fast I can bring you up to date! In March, Nicholas' flag football team won the championship, so we have a couple of pictures from that day:
A couple days later, the kids thought it would be a good idea to make their own popsicles using juice, cups, and butter knives as their handles. They were actually pretty good!
The next day we left to go on a camping trip for spring break with about 40 other homeschoolers!! That was the last trip in our RV (can we have a moment of silence, please?), and we had an awesome time! We didn't get many pictures, though. Nicole took a few of Nathan chopping wood, which he did a fantastic job of keeping our firewood supply going! And then she took one of Tim and me sitting by the campfire, and that's about all we got! Unfortunately we didn't get any of Nicole and her friend Morgan getting lost kayaking on the river for a couple of hours (thankfully we were able to track them down from a road that was near the river and direct them back!). Here's a couple photos we took:
The campground was about an hour and a half northwest of our house, and on the drive back home we came upon this intersection that makes me cringe every time I see it:
How'd you like to live on that street - Roach's Run?! What were they thinking? Doesn't that just give you the willies thinking about it? "Yeah, I live on a street where roaches have the run of the place!" I don't think I'd even want to live on Pleasant Plains. How do I know if the roaches wouldn't meander over to check out life on the Plains? No thanks!!
But I digress. Our next big event was another teenager in the house getting a driver's permit! Yikes! Here's the picture that is becoming a rite of passage marker in our family:
April didn't have much activity in the photo department in our family. Towards the end of the month, Nathan got a wild hair to go to the beach, so our whole family loaded up and drove to one of our favorite beaches, Fort Desoto, and spent the day. Again, not many pictures were shot that day, but here is one of Nathan & Nicole:
This takes us to May. We started out the month participating in the National Day of Prayer event at Yankee Stadium (their training facility) in Tampa, and a couple days later attending the baptism blow out service at our church with some 450 people taking the plunge! Tim helped out in the dunking, and it was just amazing seeing so many lives changed by the Lord.
Nicholas participated in another sport with the homeschool group (basketball), and his team came in 2nd place of all the teams!
They won that trophy 1 week before Nicholas' 14th birthday - can you believe he's 14? Time is flying! Speaking of flying, Nicole got a picture of Nicholas flying to the basket during his basketball birthday party at the YMCA. She also captured a few more photo ops for the momentous occasion (see below). We even played 4 square where yours truly got in on the action:
A good time was to be had by all! :-) And then a couple weeks later, for Memorial weekend, we travelled up to North Carolina to visit our dear friends who have lived there now for about 8 years. They just bought a farm and moved in a couple weeks before we arrived, so we helped them continue to unpack and get things organized. Below you will find a few pictures from that trip. Nicole and Nicholas chilled out in the back on the drive up. There's a picture of me getting ready to tackle their 3 storage facilities. Then there's a shot of one of their chickens that I think is so cute! Nathan was working hard, but also playing hard (what work day wouldn't be complete without a dunking contest, complete with trampoline to catch more air and hang time?). :-) And finally Nicole with her 'peace out' pose:
Well, I thought I'd be able to take you up through June, but I am wiped out and must go to bed. Stayed tuned for a June update, where you will catch a rare sighting of our 3rd born (camera shy Noah)!
Tim & Jodie